Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 - Storytellers of San ...
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Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 Stacie Birky Greene Originally from Colorado, Stacie Birky Greene received degrees in Art and Art History from the University of Kentucky. She also studied in Florence, Italy, and at the Art Institute of Chicago. Although painting was the focus of her training, she has explored her art in a wide variety of media, including drawing, performance, photography, installation and video. The central focus of Birky Greene’s work has been to explore nature through a combination of materials and techniques. Her approach has often been guided by a fascination with form and shape, particularly as nodes for connecting unlikely allies, such as coral and cacti. By taking organic materials (or at least their representation) out of context, she compels the viewer to revel in patterns of structural unity. Her recent work has also considered the impact of human consumption and climate change on the natural world. Appalled by mass deforestation and habitat destruction, she has turned her attention to bird species that have gone extinct since the time of her own birth. The tangible results of this study will be revealed over the course of the next few years, in a variety of projects. One feature of these works that is important to consider is her choice of materials: namely, junk mail, which she either uses “as is” or manipulates, with the addition of other detritus, into homemade paper. It is a project that implicates us all in its struggle: here are beautiful objects made, nevertheless, from unwanted materials. Moreover, the materials themselves are the products of overconsumption of resources – fossil fuels burned in production and transportation, and deforestation to provide wood pulp for paper. The problem of avian ecology and the pressures these birds face is multidimensional, but the viewer is placed in the unlikely position of assessing and admiring the victim even as its emblem is formed from components that have been implicated in its destruction. Birky Greene lives in San Diego, and she exhibits her artwork locally and internationally. She has taught art to children and adults since 1998. Stacie will lend her artistic talents to the “Birds of a Feather” concert with Mindy Donner, Patti Christensen & James Nelson-Lucas, Fred Laskowski and Linda Whiteside at 2 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room).
Giovanni Brooks Giovanni Brooks lives in a tree house and was the first man ever to befriend a black bear while hiking Mt. Everest (alternative facts)! He recently discovered his passion is writing stories—all of which are not true, and his first book, Celebrating Differences, is a prime example. You might not have guessed this, but Giovanni is not Italian (gasp!) But is a black guy, with an Italian name, who was raised by his mother and her Jewish boyfriend. (Did you get all of that?) But wait there’s more! He was raised with a Bubbie and Zayde (Yiddish for grandmother and grandfather respectively) and almost had a Bar Mitzvah when he turned 13 years old! Growing up and attending College on the East Coast, he decided shortly after graduating to take a cross country road trip and relocate to San Diego. This ended up being the best decision of his life as it was here that he ultimately met his best friend turned wife and they now have two children. Giovanni leads the “Celebrating Differences” session at 1:30 PM on Stage 3 (Tween Area). Joshua Callaway Joshua P Callaway is a medically retired Army veteran. He spent fifteen years as an Airborne infantry man. He has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He now lives in San Diego with his wife and three sons. He is a full-time student and is pursuing an MFA in creative writing. Joshua participates in the “Real People, Real Stories: True Stories from Veterans” session at 12 PM on Stage 2 (Study Rooms). Patti Christensen Patti Christensen creates a magical program for all ages, enjoying the enthusiasm of rollicking fun stories and songs with plenty of participation. From fun to serious, inspirational to instructional, Patti brings her whole self to sharing stories. She works in many different venues and is a favorite as a keynote and at birthday and holiday parties.
Patti participates in the “Tales from Around the World” children’s concert at 10 AM on Stage 4 (Children’s Area); participates in the “Birds of a Feather” concert with Stacie Birky Greene at 2 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); and, participates in the “Voices from the Water’s Edge” closing concert at 4 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room). Mindy Donner Mindy Donner has been spinning yarns for all ages with her group, Spinning Wheel Players; blending music, sometimes puppets, and encouraging audience participation with rhythm instruments. Together with musician, Eduardo Parra, they perform bilingually (English/Spanish). Mindy delights in telling folktales from around the world, as well as performing an original play, West of Snow, a story of the Donner party. Mindy Donner leads the “Puppetry 101 – The Art of Bringing a Puppet to Life” session at 12 PM on Stage 3 (Tween Area); participates in the “Birds of a Feather” concert with Stacie Birky Greene at 2 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); and, participates in the “Voices at the Water’s Edge” closing concert at 4 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room). Dave Drexler A trusted broadcast professional for more than 30 years, Emmy-winning Dave Drexler is one of San Diego's best- known voice-over talents, on-camera presenters and media writer/producers. Dave is the Director of Drexler Media, a professor at San Diego City College and Palomar College, and is the Producer/Director of our Jazz Live Series. When not immersed in some sort of audio, Dave enjoys world travel and he is the host of 'Inside Art', heard every Sunday morning at 9:30 on KSDS. Dave brings The Archive Channel podcast to the festival, offering attendees a chance to record their personal stories. Visit Dave from 12 to 4 PM on Stage 5 (Computer Lab). Harlynne Geisler Harlynne Geisler, original founder of the Storytellers of San Diego, has been a professional freelance storyteller since 1980 and has told and taught storytelling in festivals, conferences, schools, colleges, libraries, churches, temples, community centers, preschools and museums
across the country. She has published a book and many articles on storytelling and is listed in Who’s Who in Entertainment. For twenty-five years, she edited a popular storytelling newsletter and has been the resident storyteller for both the San Diego Museum of Art and the Timken Art Museum and a regular columnist for the Laugh Makers Magazine. Her goal is to provide fantasy and hope to all story- listeners. Harlynne leads the “Tales from Around the World” children’s concert at 10 AM on Stage 4 (Children’s Area); and leads the “Tales for St. Patrick’s Day” children’s concert on Stage 4 at 2 PM (Children’s Area). Gemini Junction Gemini Junction burst onto the music scene in 2016 with their debut album release, but you've no doubt seen these folks around. They've played at the San Diego Spring Harp Fest, the Ocean Beach Chili Cookoff, Adams Avenue Unplugged, and several concerts and festivals for San Diego Folk Heritage. JT, Annie and Richie are accomplished songwriters, and address modern topics in traditionally-inspired song structures and instrumentation. The choice of strong material with a blend of lead and rhythm instruments with multiple voices has made Gemini Junction an audience favorite. Annie Rettic is a classically trained singer and violist, but early on found that roots music, besides being just plain fun, allows her to better connect with the audience. Beyond her custom 5-string fiddle, Annie's instruments include mountain dulcimer and ukulele. Richie Strell is a harmonica phenomenon, winning the Best New Player award at the 2015 Spring Harp Fest, and being called on stage to play with everyone from the Beat Farmers to the Bayou Brothers. Given the chance, he will also break out his musical spoons, and maybe even a kazoo. JT Moring provides a strong rhythm foundation on banjo or guitar and taps into his Kentucky & Texas heritage to bring life to the older material they play, from Carter Family, to Townes Van Zandt. JT has leveraged his engineering training into a home studio where the band produces their recordings.
Rocky Smolin, joining the group in 2017, is an upright bass player. At least the instrument is upright; the player you'll have to judge for yourself. The deep bass broadens the sound of the group and helps drive the music along. Rocky played folk music in high school, then took a break from the genre to play bass in rock bands, Dixieland, Afro-Cuban, Klezmer and straight ahead jazz standards. This folk hiatus lasted some 50 years until Gemini Junction reminded him how much fun this music is and brought him back into the fold. Gemini Junction perform on Stage 6 (Main Courtyard) at 10 AM and at 1 PM. Arlyn Hackett Arlyn Hackett is a foodstorian. He writes and speaks on the history and folklore of cooking and eating. He also is a chef, culinary teacher, food writer and lecturer. His column, “Slice of History” appeared weekly in the Food section of the San Diego Union-Tribune for 9 years. He has taught primarily in San Diego and New York. He also has had his own public television cooking show and a radio show devoted to food history. Arlyn has traveled extensively and collected stories and recipes from the places he visited. He may also serve his audience a rich array of culinary tales based on family experiences. Chef Arlyn creates a feast of stories to bring people together. He believes sharing a meal or sharing a story can break down barriers and help resolve conflicts. Sweet or bitter, sour or spicy, his presentations feed the mind and stimulate our senses. He often will tell stories in the character of a person from history that may illuminate past events or give a sagey perspective to our current times. A listener once described Arlyn Hackett’s stories as “words you can eat.” Come feast on his stories! Arlyn participates in the “Wise Fools” opening concert at 11 AM on Stage 1 (Community Room).
Catherine Espinoza Hampton Once upon a time in the mid-1980s Catherine Espinoza Hampton met San Diego puppeteer and storyteller Mindy Donner. Mindy invited Catherine to narrate a children’s puppet play and provide incidental harp music accompaniment to a show she was presenting somewhere in San Diego. On that day Catherine’s musical storytelling career hatched! “Having read bedtime stories to my daughter, complete with all the character voices (which kept my daughter wide awake!) I was excited to explore the world of musical storytelling magic with Mindy.” Catherine and Mindy partnered for ten years. During that time Catherine attended an extraordinary storytelling course facilitated by Vicky Reed at USD. Along the way she met professional storytellers Marilyn McPhie, Jim Dieckmann and Harlynne Geisler. Their unique storytelling skills and powerful voices inspired Catherine to further develop her own storytelling voice. Catherine currently is the librarian at Amesti Elementary School where she shares her love of stories with students each weekday, and definitely keeps them wide awake! Some days she brings her harp and whistles to school to weave a special enchantment with a musical story. “Stories are jewels --- some shine brightly to begin with while others must be dusted off and polished to bring out their beauty. All stories are treasures to be valued for they return us to our best selves. Storytellers uncover and bring to life these treasures in a way that is immediate and timeless.” Catherine performs during the “Tales from the Emerald Isle” concert at 1 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); participates in the “Tales for St. Patrick’s Day” children’s concert at 2 PM on Stage 4 (Children’s Area); and, participates in the “Voices from the Water’s Edge” closing concert at 4 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room). Justin Hudnall Justin Hudnall graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts by way of the Department of Dramatic Writing. After realizing that art alone rarely feeds well, he found employment with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) where he served in New York and Southern Sudan. He currently acts as Executive Director of So Say We All, a San Diego-based arts advocacy and production non-profit.
Justin leads the “Real People, Real Stories: True Stories from Veterans” session at 12 PM on Stage 2 (Study Rooms). Fred Laskowski Fred is a Marriage and Family Therapist currently working in the public schools, where his storytelling abilities enliven and enrich his interactions with the students. As a performer, he has been featured at numerous public and private events, including the Sam Hinton Folk Heritage Festival, and the University of San Diego Adult Storytelling Concert Series. He spends his spare time practicing and teaching yoga, hiking, and exploring the wilderness. Fred participates in the “Tales from the Emerald Isle” concert at 1 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); participates in the “Birds of a Feather” concert with Stacie Birky Greene at 2 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); and, participates in the “Voices from the Water’s Edge” closing concert at 4 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room). Randel McGee… and his spectacular dragon, Groark Mr. McGee is a professional performer and ventriloquist who has given entertaining and educational shows around the world, in the native languages of each audience. Mr. McGee’s lively characters and illustrations capture the audience's imagination. With his dozens of different voices, chameleon- like face, and energetic body he transforms a story into a memorable life experience. Randel McGee and Groark the dragon have been entertaining audiences of all ages for over 30 years. They have traveled all around the USA and Asia with their fun and lively programs. Whether he was donning his elegant 19th century attire as Hans Christian Andersen, weaving our favorite fairy tales all the while creating intricate paper cuttings or trying to keep his playful friend Groark the dragon from taking over the stage, Randel keeps audiences spellbound and laughing! Randel emcees the “Kids Tell Stories” open mic session at 12:30 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); participates in the “Tales from the Emerald Isle” concert at 1 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); participates in the “Tales for St. Patrick’s Day” children’s concert at 2 PM on Stage 4 (Children’s Area); and, participates in the “Voices from the Water’s Edge” closing concert at 4 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room).
Marilyn McPhie Marilyn McPhie became a storyteller by choice—when her son’s preschool gave her a choice of cleaning bathrooms or telling stories. A professional teller since 1985, she has a fondness for old stories with new twists. A National Storytelling Network state liaison, she was featured at the Exchange Place at the National Storytelling Festival and regularly charms festival, school, corporate and conference audiences across the country and beyond with her engaging tales. Marilyn participates in the “Tales from the Emerald Isle” concert on Stage 1 at 1 PM; and, participates in the “Voices at the Water’s Edge” closing concert at 4 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room). Francisco Martinezcuello Francisco Martínezcuello was born in Santo Domingo, República Dominicana and raised in Long Island, New York. He has been writing short stories and journaling since he was a teenager. His passion for literature and writing continued throughout his 20 years of Marine Corps service and helped him understand the impact of war on our nation’s veterans. He's a 2017 Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellow and a member of So Say We All. Publications include: Incoming (forthcoming), Split Lip Magazine, The War Horse, Beautiful Things – River Teeth, Collateral Journal, and the DominicanWriters Association. Learn more themotorcyclewriter.com. Francisco participates in the “Real People, Real Stories: True Stories from Veterans” session at 12 PM on Stage 2 (Study Rooms). OJ Mozon, Jr. A native of Washington, DC, OJ Mozon Jr. is a modern griot. As a chaplain for the Navy, his deployments and travels enabled him to share folktales, myths, legends, Bible stories and historical vignettes at festivals from North Carolina to the Pacific Northwest. Associated with the Black Storytellers of San Diego and the National Association of Black Storytellers, he currently serves as Developer of Oral Learning with Dynamic Church Planting International.
OJ Mozon, Jr. leads “The Joys of Bible Storytelling” session at 3 PM on Stage 2 (Study Rooms); and, participates in the “Voices at the Water’s Edge” closing concert on Stage 1 at 4 PM (Community Room). James Nelson-Lucas James Nelson-Lucas is a storyteller, actor, public speaker, workshop leader, improvisational performer, magician, chef, musician, dancer, clown, writer, producer, and director. He has performed everywhere from churches to corporate settings, from private parties to street theater, to the legitimate stage. He tells tales from historic to humorous, folk to fantastic, educational to entertaining. James participates in the “Tales from Around the World” children’s concert at 10 AM on Stage 4 (Children’s Area); participates in the “Wise Fools” opening concert at 11 AM on Stage 1 (Community Room); participates in the “Birds of a Feather” concert with Stacie Birky Greene at 2 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); and, participates in the “Voices at the Water’s Edge” closing concert on Stage 1 at 4 PM (Community Room). Cher & Steve Pendarvis Steve and Cher Pendarvis both began surfing in the mid-1960’s and continue to do so today. They have a wide range of interests in surf-riding craft, and together have been constructed a wide variety of boards of all shapes and sizes for the past 35 years. Embracing the “aloha spirit,” they are well know among local surfers, and have travelled internationally surfing and refining the Pendoflex brand. Born and raised in San Diego, Steve began building wave-riding vehicles, beginning with a marine ply paipo in 1965, and then shaping surfboards in the late 1960s. Throughout his life, as a designer and board builder, a highlight has always been tinkering and innovating. Part of the Sunset Cliffs crew of shaping and designers, his early inspirations include Skip Frye, George Greenough, and Steve Lis. Steve builds his Pendoflex boards at his workshop. Each Pendoflex and Pendo is 100% hand made. Many are decorated with colorful abstracts or painted with local fish species by Cher.
Cher Threinen-Pendarvis started with a child's fascination with art, and graduated from college with a BFA with Highest Honors and Distinction in Art, specializing in painting and printmaking. She is an innovative digital artist, but her heart is in painting scenes of remarkable coastal beauty. She was an early participant in women’s competitive surfing in the mid 1070’s, but her taste for adventure found her exploring Baja point breaks instead of continued competition. Steve and Cher continue to travel and recently spent a month in Australia with the renowned shaper/surfer George Grennough, trading waves and shaping techniques. During their presentation, they will share the stories of how they are motivated (stoked) to continue doing what they love best; surfing. Cher and Steve lead the “Real People, Real Stories: Sustaining the Stoke – 100 Years of Surfing” session at 2 PM on Stage 2 (Study Rooms). Taylor Sabree Taylor Sabree originally from Polk County, Florida, rediscovered her love for writing while deployed to Afghanistan, during her service in the U.S. Army. After her enlistment was complete, she moved to California to pursue her dream of showcasing her poetry and her love for acting. She has had the opportunity to be in two plays, two music videos, a web series and a national commercial. Her ultimate goal in life is to be an inspiration and to be the voice for those who have not found theirs. “I thank God for this gift and give Him glory for being able to move broken hearts with words that have the power to make a difference!” Taylor participates in the “Real People, Real Stories: True Stories from Veterans” session at 12 PM on Stage 2 (Study Rooms).
Sarah Saulter Sarah Saulter grew up in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, making up stories, climbing trees, and making friends with the local wildlife. She told her first original story at the age of three, and has been telling tales ever since. Her current repertoire includes world folk tales and literary stories, as well as her own original tales. In the intervening years, Sarah has held diverse day jobs. She’s worked as a house painter, directed high school musicals, sold flowers from a rustic wooden cart on a street corner, and served as a member of the Healing Arts Staff at Rady Children’s Hospital, where she told stories to patients and their families. Currently, she works as a librarian at a community college. A professional storyteller for over 20 years, Sarah as appeared at The Exchange Place at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN, and at local and regional festivals, including the Sierra and the Mariposa storytelling festivals. Sarah participates in the “Voices at the Water’s Edge” closing concert on Stage 1 at 4 PM (Community Room). Scott Whitehair As a performer, Scott has brought his dynamic blend of vulnerability, humor, and insight to venues, festivals, and conferences all over the world, and has been seen/heard on NPR, PBS, WGN Radio, FOX-TV, Sirius XM, and The Risk Podcast. He is a two-time Moth Slam winner and runner up at The 2012 Windy City All- City Story Slam Championship. In 2017, he made his debut with Exchange Place at The National Storytelling Festival. His work ranges from the heartbreaking to the hilarious, and he has personal stories for both an afternoon with a child in your lap and a late night with a cocktail in your hand. As an instructor, Scott has lead hundreds of workshop and class sessions for diverse groups of all ages, from theater camps to corporate seminars. His independent monthly class has been selling out since 2012, and he has facilitated training for a wide variety of corporations,
non-profits, and community organizations nationwide. Scott's private coaching clients have included a Fortune 500 CEO and a candidate for U.S. Surgeon General. He has also been a frequent guest instructor at Chicago's top universities and business schools. In 2014, he was the featured instructor at Hong Kong Story Worthy Week, headlined by David Sedaris. No matter the environment, Scott's goal is always the same: to help people discover and develop their own unique voices as storytellers. As a producer, Whitehair has made it his mission to spread his love of storytelling and create as many opportunities as possible for his neighbors to hear and share stories. He is the producer of This Much Is True, one of the city's longest running personal narrative series, creator of Story Lab Chicago, which was recently mentioned in Forbes and Newsweek, and director of Do Not Submit, a citywide network of community building open mics. He is frequently asked to bring his production talents to private performances, organizational showcases, and corporate events of all types. Scott recently served on the board of directors for the National Storytelling Network. Scott leads the “Personal Storytelling For Everyone” session at 10 AM on Stage 2 (Study Rooms). In this active, exploratory workshop, we will mine our life experiences for the seeds of story, find the universal in our personal, and discuss the role of vulnerability in our telling. No experience is necessary, and no advance preparation needed. He also participates in the “Wise Fools” opening concert at 11 AM on Stage 1 (Community Room); emcees the “Your Turn: Open Mic” session at 3 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); and, participates in the “Voices at the Water’s Edge” closing concert on Stage 1 at 4 PM (Community Room). Linda Whiteside Linda Whiteside is a Storyteller in the Healing Arts Department at Rady Children's Hospital. Her bilingual style, fluidly weaving English and Spanish, delights audiences of all ages. She has told tales in schools, libraries, universities, organizations, and at the San Diego Zoo. Linda emcees the “Wise Fools” opening concert at 11 AM on Stage 1 (Community Room); and participates in the “Birds of a Feather” session with Stacie Birky Greene at 2 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room).
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